Calling upon the party’s state leaders and cadres to work together with unity, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said the party would win the assembly election in the state due in April-May 2018. “The Congress will win the assembly election on the strength of its work done for the people, especially farmers, Dalits, Adivasis, backward classes and weaker sections,” said Gandhi at a party rally in this town in the state’s northern region, about 500km from Bengaluru.
The party, which returned to power in May 2013 after a decade in the opposition, will contest the assembly election on the basis of its performance over the last four years, including various welfare schemes for the people across the state, he said.
“We work for all, including the farmers, Adivasis (tribals), Dalits, backward classes and weaker sections. What we have done for them in the last four years, we will do more in the next five years after the poll,” reiterated Gandhi.
The party’s state unit felicitated Gandhi for his role in getting special status to the region during the UPA rule by an amendment to Article 371(J) of the Constitution, which provides more seats in educational institutions and government jobs for its people.
Accusing the NDA Central government of making hollow and false promises but not delivering them, Gandhi said the Congress always fulfilled the promises it made in its election manifestos.
“Unlike the Modi government, we don’t make big promises but perform and show. Wherever we have our governments, we stand by the farmers who make the country proud by toiling in their fields,” he said in his Hindi speech.
Lauding the state government for waiving farm loans of the drought-hit farmers, Gandhi mocked Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for waiving loans of rich industrialists but not of farmers.
“When you (NDA government) waive loans of the country’s 10 richest Industrialists, they don’t become lazy, but when you waive farmers’ loans, they become lazy. How fair is this?” he asked, in a reference to a BJP leader saying in Parliament recently that waiving loans would make farmers lazy.
Recalling the contribution of the UPA government to the farmers, Gandhi said the Minimum Support Price (MSP) on crops used to increase 15 per cent annually as against two-three per cent yearly since the BJP came to power in 2014.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, party leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjuna Kharge, party General Secretary and state in-charge K.C. Venugopal, state unit President G Parameshwara and other party leaders were present on the occasion.